(CNN)President Joe Biden plans to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, a person familiar with the matter said, as the US warns Russia could attack Ukraine using bombs and missiles at any moment.The high-stakes talks come at what US officials describe as a critical juncture in the ongoing crisis. A significant increase of Russian ground forces and military assets have surrounded Ukraine, and Putin could decide at any moment to activate them into a deadly invasion.He hasn’t decided whether to act, the White House said Friday. But that has not stopped American officials from dramatically increasing their warnings an attack is now a “distinct possibility” and could occur swiftly.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — By now, you probably have heard about the winter storm system that is eyeing the east Sunday into Monday.
An important thing to remember is that the main energy of this system is still out in the Pacific Ocean.
When the energy is out that far, there are things we can see, but there are many that we can’t. Once this “low” comes on the shore, we will have the opportunity to gather a lot more data from weather balloons and surface instruments.
This will allow us to tighten up the projected path and have a better idea of how this will impact the Pittsburgh area.
MAYFIELD, Ky. —
Gov. Andy Beshear said dozens, maybe up to 100, were killed in western Kentucky after a long and significant tornado ripped through the area overnight.
“This is going to be some of the worst tornado damage that we’ve seen in a long time,” Beshear said early Saturday. “This is likely to be the most severe tornado outbreak in our state’s history.”
The city of Mayfield, Kentucky was hit particularly hard, including a candle manufacturing factory that was operating at the time the twister hit. There were 110 people in the building at the time that it was nearly collapsed by the tornado. Dozens are expected to be lost from there, Beshear said.
The U.S. will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to combat climbing gas prices.
- The U.S. will release 50 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the White House said Tuesday.
- The move is a coordinated effort between energy-consuming nations including China and Japan to combat the rapid rise in energy prices.
- Prior to Tuesday’s announcement the Biden administration repeatedly said that it was looking at the tools at its disposal as prices at the pump hover around a seven-year high.
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — As an investigation continues into the Astroworld Festival tragedy, the death toll is now up to 10 people.
The latest death is 9-year-old Ezra Blount, who fell and was trampled during Travis Scott’s performance.
A Black Lives Matter leader vowed there’ll be “riots,” “fire” and “bloodshed” if Mayor-elect Eric Adams follows through with his promise to bring back plainclothes anti-crime cops to battle New York’s surge in violent crimes.
New York BLM co-founder Hawk Newsome debated the plan for a return to tougher policing with Adams during a contentious sit-down at Brooklyn Borough Hall Wednesday that was livestreamed on Instagram.
Although Adams found common ground with the activists on plans to fight poverty in the black community, the former NYPD captain said he’ll be reinstating a revamped version of the undercover anti-crime unit that was disbanded at the height of widespread police protests last year.
“If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing then we’re going to take to the streets again,” New York BLM co-founder Hawk Newsome said outside Borough Hall after the meeting.
A car struck two cops and three Golden Gate Bridge workers as authorities tried to corral an anti-COVID vaccine protest at the famous San Francisco span Thursday evening.
Several hundred demonstrators were rallying against the city’s employment vaccine mandate at the mouth of the bridge when the victims were struck by a car in the traffic lane, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
The two CHP officers and one bridge worker were taken to a hospital, where they were expected to survive their injuries, the newspaper reported.
“They were gathered at the sidewalk entrance onto the Golden Gate Bridge, and apparently there were individuals in the crowd that had stated their intent was to take over the lane of traffic, so our intention at that point was to serve as a deterrent to try to prevent anybody from getting on,” CHP Officer Andrew Barclay reportedly said.
The mother of Kyle Rittenhouse claimed President Joe Biden “defamed” her son when he tweeted a video suggesting the Illinois teen is a white supremacist.
Moms for Liberty, a parental rights advocacy group focused on education, is grabbing national headlines as it rapidly expands throughout the U.S.
The Washington Post dedicated 2,000 words to the group in a piece which likened them to the Tea Party and the “moral majority” movement of the 1980s.
The COVID-19 pandemic shutdown of schools drove education to the forefront of political debates in 2020. Ongoing controversy surrounding vaccines and mask mandates, racial and sexual materials in school curriculum and transgender student policies has prompted concerned parents to organize and get involved in local and state politics.
“Parents are finding racially divisive, sexually explicit, and anti-American assignments in their children’s backpacks. Moms for Liberty chapters work to resolve concerns, review curriculum and request changes in their school districts,” Tina Descovich, co-founder of Moms for Liberty and former school board member, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Moms for Liberty, founded in January, has quickly grown to 140 chapters in 32 states with 56,000 members, according to Descovich.
Christian Ziegler, vice chairman of the Florida Republican Party, told the DCNF that school board fights have awakened an entirely new demographic of voters, and Moms for Liberty is engaging them. Whether Democrat, Republican or Independent, parents are realizing that the government has tremendous power over their lives and that they need to be involved, he explained.
“They’re being painted as extremists because they pose a threat to the status quo,” Ziegler said. “Moms for Liberty is getting parents involved in their children’s education, and that should be applauded.”
A federal court in Louisiana has blocked the Biden administration’s mandate that millions of workers get vaccinated against Covid-19 or be tested weekly, ruling in a suit filed by several states, companies and conservative religious groups.
“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court,” a panel of judges for the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Saturday.
The states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah are among the plaintiffs.
A female U.S. military service member was reportedly assaulted by several male Afghan evacuees being housed at Fort Bliss.
WASHINGTON — Haitians deported from the U.S. on Tuesday assaulted the pilots on board one of the flights when it arrived in Port-au-Prince and injured three U.S. immigration officers, according to a source familiar with internal reports of the incident.
Unrest broke out shortly after a flight carrying single adult men arrived and released the men to Haitian authorities on the airport tarmac. Then, according to the source, several of the men stormed another recently arrived flight carrying families.
The men assaulted the pilots of that plane, who work for a government contractor licensed to fly deportation flights for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while the families were still on board. Three ICE officers were also attacked on that airplane, each suffering non-life-threatening injuries, the source said.
The attacks come as the United States ramps up its deportations of Haitians after more than 15,000 overwhelmed the U.S. border by congregating under one bridge in Del Rio, Texas in just a matter of days. As of Tuesday, just over 1,000 of the Haitian migrants had been deported to Haiti, according to two sources familiar with the operations.
A total of 4,000 have been either deported or moved to other processing centers along the border, the Department of Homeland Security said.
More than 18 months into this pandemic, shortages and delays are still everywhere.
WASHINGTON — United States Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said Friday that there has been “chatter” about possible violence associated with the rally planned by far-right protesters outside the Capitol building Saturday.
Manger said during a briefing with reporters that Capitol Police leadership has been working over the last eight months to ensure there’s no repeat of the riot that occurred on Jan. 6 when supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
For the second time in California history, the state’s governor is facing a recall. On Tuesday, voters will decide whether Gov. Gavin Newsom will stay in office. If a majority votes “yes” to oust him, California will have a new governor.
There are 46 candidates on the ballot, including radio talk show host Larry Elder, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner. The special election was triggered after more than 1.5 million people signed the recall petition, which began circulating last year during the pandemic.
Opponents of Gov. Newsom have criticized his administration’s COVID-19 restrictions and made that a focal point of the recall. If he is recalled, Newsom would be the third governor in U.S. history to be removed from office in this manner.
This has happened before in California. In 2003, voters recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won the special election and became the 38th governor of California. Schwarzenegger went on to win reelection in 2006, making him the last Republican to win a statewide election.
Californians will vote on two questions: Should Newsom be removed and if so, who should replace him? About 22 million ballots have gone out to registered voters. If a majority votes to remove Newsom, whichever candidate captures the most votes will become the next governor of California.
Former President Trump made a surprise visit with New York City police and firefighters Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
In remarks to assembled guests, the former president sharply rebuked President Biden and the US pullout from Afghanistan.
“It was gross incompetence and I hate to talk about it on this day,” Trump said.
Trump praised New York’s Finest, telling the crowd, “if they let you do your job you wouldn’t have crime in New York!”
As some in the crowd nodded their heads, The Donald jokingly warned them to “just stand and just be perfect.”
Biden announced a sweeping plan that could force millions of unvaccinated Americans to get the COVID-19 shot
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden said of the roughly 80 million Americans who have yet to get the shot. “While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, I need to tell you a second fact: We’re in a tough stretch and it could last for awhile.”But Biden stopped short of mandating the vaccine for illegal immigrants attempting to cross America’s border, even though about 30% of immigrants held at federal detention facilities are refusing to be vaccinated — and they have the option to refuse
Meanwhile, more than 18% of migrant families who recently crossed the border tested positive for COVID before being released by Border Patrol. Another 20% of unaccompanied minors tested positive for the virus.
(CNN)President Joe Biden on Thursday imposed stringent new vaccine rules on federal workers, large employers and health care staff in a sweeping attempt to contain the latest surge of Covid-19.The new requirements could apply to as many as 100 million Americans — close to two-thirds of the American workforce — and amount to Biden’s strongest push yet to require vaccines for much of the country.“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said, his tone hardening toward Americans who still refuse to receive a vaccine despite ample evidence of their safety and full approval of one — the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine — from the US Food and Drug Administration.He said vaccinated America was growing “frustrated” with the 80 million people who have not received shots and are fueling the spread of the virus. And he acknowledged the new steps would not provide a quick fix.“While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, I need to tell you a second fact: We’re in a tough stretch and it could last for awhile,” Biden said in an early evening speech from the White House.At the center of Biden’s new plan is directing the Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees ensure their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week, an expansive step the President took after consultation with administration health officials and lawyers. Companies could face thousands of dollars in fines per employee if they don’t comply.Biden also signed an executive order requiring all government employees be vaccinated against Covid-19, with no option of being regularly tested to opt out. The President signed an accompanying order directing the same standard be applied to employees of contractors who do business with the federal government.He also said 300,000 educators in federal Head Start programs must be vaccinated and called on governors to require vaccinations for schoolteachers and staff.And Biden announced he would require the 17 million health care workers at facilities receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated, expanding the mandate to hospitals, home care facilities and dialysis centers around the country.“We have the tools to combat the virus if we come together to use those tools,” Biden said at the outset of what was billed as a major speech to tackle the latest phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.The new rules amount to the most dramatic steps to date to get more Americans vaccinated. Once cautious of vaccine mandates, the Biden administration is now wholly embracing them as vaccine hesitancy persists among certain groups.Administration officials acknowledged the requirement for large employers could be challenged in court. But they said their hope was to provide cover of federal rules to businesses who want to require vaccines for employees.The new rules come as the Delta variant tears through communities across the country, causing upticks in hospitalizations and deaths particularly in areas where vaccination rates remain low.
President Joe Biden addressed hecklers who shouted at him about his chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, claiming that they don’t actually live in the area he was touring and suggesting that they were upset about his climate change position.
After New York Sen. Chuck Schumer introduced Biden as the man who will “lead us out of darkness in this present moment,” the president began his remarks in New York City by saying he received a warm reception in the area he had been touring.
“None of them were shouting or complaining,” Biden said. “Every one of them were thanking me as if it was something special… that I was here.”
Earlier in the day, Biden was heckled by protesters on the other side of a fence where he toured storm-damaged New Jersey with several people castigating him for his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
BY MIRANDA DEVINE
Psst, Nancy Pelosi! Still looking for a phone call worth impeaching a president?
Do I have news for you.
Reuters has a bombshell report about a July phone call between Joe Biden and then-Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, in which the US president promises military aid in return for lies.
The “perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” says Biden in the July 23 call. “And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
Whether it is true or not.
No, things weren’t going well, three weeks after the US abandoned Bagram Airfield in the dead of night.
Biden’s solution was to create the “perception” that all was fine. He wanted to keep the illusion going long enough to cover his Aug. 31 self-imposed deadline to withdraw US troops and have a victory lap on September 11th, when he would preen as the first president to end the forever war.
So he asked Ghani to trick up an event to make it look as if he had a plan to push back on the Taliban to reassure America’s allies who were beginning to question Biden’s timetable.
“I don’t know whether you’re aware,” said Biden, “just how much the perception around the world is that this is looking like a losing proposition . . . so the conclusion I’m asking you to consider is to bring together everyone from [ex-Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid] Dostum, to [ex-President Hamid] Karzai and in between. If they stand there and say they back the strategy you put together, and put a warrior in charge, you know a military man . . . in charge of executing that strategy, and that will change perception.”
Ghani tried to explain that the situation was dire: “Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists.”
He begged for US air support. “What is crucial is, close air support . . . a very heavy reliance on air power.”
The Afghan army was based on the US model, which relies on air support for enemy strikes, ferrying the wounded, and so on. But the contractors who serviced Afghan aircraft had left, leaving the Afghan army exposed.
Biden offered conditional air support, in return for Ghani going along with his ruse, but only until his Aug. 31 deadline. After that, “who knows?”
(CNN)Hurricane Ida is beginning to move ashore and is set to make landfall early this afternoon likely tied as Louisiana’s most powerful storm ever.The current forecast calls for sustained winds of 150 mph when Ida hits on the 16th anniversary of the historically devastating Hurricane Katrina.That’s just 7 mph below the Category 5 ranking, and if Ida arrives at that level, it would be just the fifth to do so on the US mainland.Last year’s Hurricane Laura and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 share the current record at 150 mph.Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday he expects Ida to be “a big challenge for us.”Edwards told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that his state “is as ready as we can be,” but he expects Ida to be “a very serious test of our levy systems, especially in our coastal Louisiana.”The state invested significantly in shoring up the levy system after the catastrophic fail after Katrina. Edwards said Ida “will be the most severe test,” but he expects the levees to hold. “The next 24, 36 hours are just going to be very, very critical for us here in Louisiana.”Ida became a Category 4 storm early Sunday morning, rapidly intensifying to sustained winds of 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
It was 50 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, NHC forecasters said in a 10 a.m. ET update, as the storm continued its march toward Louisiana and the Gulf Coast at 15 mph.
Outer bands from the storm are already making their way onshore across the Gulf Coast, impacting southeastern Louisiana, including New Orleans. An elevated weather station at Pilot’s Station East near Southwest Pass, Louisiana, recently reported a wind gust up to 107 mph, the NHC said.
Hundreds of people took part in opposing rallies in Portland on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of major clashes in the city, leading to new violence and a nearby shooting that may be tied to the unrest.A right-wing rally called “Summer of Love: Patriots Spreading Love not Hate” took place in a parking lot of a former Kmart and drew about 100 people. Tension increased when a van attempted to drive in, but crashed, KOIN-TV reported. There were “splinter groups” from left-wing counter-protests who confronted the right-wing group and the situation deteriorated at about 4 p.m., OregonLive.com reported. The report said both sides were armed with “bats, paintball guns and wooden spears.”
- In Biden’s latest bizarre gaffe, the president was filmed returning to the White House after spending time in Wilmington, Delaware
- Secret Service agent points for him to follow the sidewalk path into White House
- Instead, Biden is seen following the agent up the lawn and through the gardening into the presidential estate
- The video has left shocked critics of the president once again surmising whether Biden is suffering the effects of cognitive decline
In Biden’s latest bizarre gaffe, the president was filmed returning to the White House after spending time in Wilmington, Delaware when the agent points for him to follow the sidewalk path into the White House.
Instead, Biden is seen following the agent up the lawn and through the garden into the presidential estate.
Decades after the popular president was gunned down in broad daylight, many people are still asking ‘who really killed Kennedy’ — and, why won’t the government release all the assassination records?
Many unanswered questions remain about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963. In the decades since, conspiracy theories and speculation of all kinds have surfaced, adding to the swell of allure surrounding the single event that changed – and continues to mystify – the country.
Fox News legal analyst and host of ‘JFK: The Conspiracy Continues’ Gregg Jarrett joined ‘Fox & Friends’ Monday, telling co-host Will Cain that the government is to blame for the skepticism — asserting that most Americans don’t believe the beloved 35th U.S. president was shot and killed by a lone gunman.
“The government, to this day, continues to hide thousands of assassination records,” said Jarrett, who noted that, by law, President Biden has until October 26th of this year to release those documents.
Cain asked the legal analyst why the FBI and the CIA have been actively working to keep these files secret, to which Jarrett replied by taking jabs at both organizations:
“The fact that they have worked sedulously and secretly behind the scenes to stop these documents from being released to the American public invites the question, what are they hiding?”
“Americans are entitled to the truth of this,” asserted Jarrett.
The truth, though, has perplexed Americans from the very beginning.
After intense pressure from progressives, the CDC has announced a more limited eviction moratorium days after an earlier freeze on evictions expired.
Days after a national eviction moratorium expired, the Biden administration on Tuesday issued a new, more limited freeze that remains in effect through Oct. 3.
Like the previous order, the two-month moratorium issued Tuesday comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new ban on evictions covers parts of the United States that are experiencing what the CDC calls “substantial” and “high” spread of the coronavirus.
As of Tuesday afternoon, that’s the vast majority of U.S. counties.
The order, which cites the rise of the delta variant, says: “Without this Order, evictions in these [higher transmission] areas would likely exacerbate the increase in cases.”
“Where we are right now with such high disease rates, we felt a new, tailored order [was needed] to make sure that … working Americans who were at risk of eviction could be stably housed during this really tenuous, challenging period of time,” the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, told NPR’s All Things Considered.
In the July 13 edition of the Stanwood Camano News, a letter to the editor called for the removal from office those who aid and abet sedition and insurrection activities. The writer lists a number of Republicans who he believes are complicit. He’s right that that should not be tolerated, and elected officials should be held accountable.
But wait. How many of the rioters in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol have been charged with sedition or insurrection? The answer is zero.
More than 500 people have been arrested in this riot, and rightly so. However one would think that if the Justice Department, especially after such an aggressive effort to track down and arrest the rioters, had a good case to charge them with sedition or insurrection, they would surely do so. But they haven’t. Why? Perhaps they don’t believe that that was really the crime.
Yet the letter writer wants the Republicans held accountable for a crime that in the eyes of the Justice Department they can’t prove. Maybe the writer wants the Republicans held accountable for Democrats’ talking points. On the contrary, I wonder if the writer is equally concerned with the assaults on one of our other equal and cherished institutions — the judiciary.
Antifa rioters have assaulted federal courthouses numerous times, doing severe damage and attempting to burn them. Yet despite Democratic lawmakers’ claims that Antifa doesn’t exist, the writer doesn’t call for their accountability. Can we look forward to a letter from him on their accountability?
A Facebook post claimed that an officer involved in the killing of a woman during the Jan. 6 capitol riots was “a bodyguard to a high-ranking Democrat in Congress.” That’s false.
Facebook post: A bodyguard of a high-ranking Democrat in Congress fired the shot that killed Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6.
PolitiFact’s ruling: False
Here’s why: There are plenty of questions still unanswered about the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. For some Republicans, that includes identifying who shot one person who stormed the Capitol that day. In a recent email to supporters, former President Donald Trump asked, “Who shot Ashli Babbitt?”
Trump brought up the question again on July 11 during a discussion with Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo. But this time, he had a theory.
“I will tell you they know who shot Ashli Babbitt. They’re protecting that person,” Trump said in the phone interview. “I’ve heard, also, that it was the head of security for a certain high official — a Democrat — and we’ll see, because it’s going to come out. It’s going to come out.”
The comments set off a frenzy of social media posts, like this one shared on Facebook, that claim the high-ranking official the officer was assigned to was either Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The photo in the post shows a person in a suit wearing a face mask and holding a handgun in his right hand. By the background seen in the photo, he appears to be pictured in the House of Representatives. “He shot Ashli Babbitt,” the caption reads. “Pelosi’s or Schumer’s personal bodyguard. Prove me wrong!”
The officer involved was placed on leave while Babbitt’s death was being investigated by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, which shares jurisdiction with the Capitol Police.
The investigation concluded in April, and the Justice Department announced that it would not be pursuing criminal charges against the officer involved.
“Officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy,” the department said in a statement. “Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”
A Pelosi spokesperson declined to comment for this story, deferring to the Capitol Police statement. Schumer’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Because official sources have not identified the officer involved in the shooting, we cannot verify or debunk any names being thrown around on the internet. But claims that the officer worked for Schumer or Pelosi are contradicted by the Capitol Police. They say that the person who fired the shot was not assigned to any Congress member’s security detail. We rate this post False.
- Facebook post, July 11, 2021
- Fox News, ‘Sunday Morning Futures’ on Trump’s Big Tech lawsuit, US-China relations, July 11, 2021
- NBC News, Trump wrong about officer who shot Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, law enforcement official says, July 12, 2021
- Justice.gov, Department of Justice Closes Investigation into the Death of Ashli Babbitt, April 14, 2021
- Email interview, Capitol Police, July 13-14, 2021
A federal judge has thrown a monkey wrench into the prosecution of more than 500 Capitol riot defendants by denying the Justice Department’s request to share grand jury materials with a contractor hired to organize the massive amounts of video, social media, email and other evidence in the cases.
The ruling Friday could complicate and drag out the prosecutions by requiring government personnel to be more involved in aspects of the process of sharing evidence with defense attorneys.
The owners of a New Jersey-based company that sells septic tank cleaning products will pay more than $1.6 million to settle charges that the firm and its telemarketer made illegal robocalls to consumers across the country, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC’s complaint alleged that Environmental Safety International (ESI) of Ridgefield and Fairview made more than 45 million illegal calls, including 31 million to people who had signed up for the Do Not Call Registry.
Confirmed deaths rose to 90 in the recovery efforts in the Miami Beach-area condo building collapse as crews continue to sift through the debris more than two weeks after the Champlain Towers South fell in the middle of the night.
At least 71 of the victims have been properly identified with next-of-kin notifications provided to their families, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Sunday morning. Search efforts have accelerated in the last week after officials demolished a still-standing section of the building that prevented teams from accessing a portion of the debris pile.
An estimated 31 people remain unaccounted for.